School upgrades coming to McDonald

McDonald Local Schools Superintendent Kevin O'Connell takes the stage Wednesday at McDonald High School. The curtain and rigging system will soon see an overhaul. The board approved a bid of more than $37,000 for the work.

McDONALD — The McDonald Local Schools Board of Education approved funding Wednesday for two improvement projects that have been in the works for nearly two years.

Garfield Heights-based US Communications and Electric, Inc. was awarded a $130,458 bid to install security cameras throughout the high school and Jim Santini Builder, Inc. was awarded a $37,377 bid for stage improvements.

Approximately 87 cameras will be installed at the high school inside and outside, Superintendent Kevin O’Connell said. The school now has a limited and outdated system in which images come up grainy and the new system will be state-of-the-art, O’Connell said.

“We will have all the interior and exterior doors covered,” he said. “The high school is one of these big old buildings. This was a 1920s building, so there’s hallways everywhere. But once we get these cameras we will have coverage everywhere other than inside classrooms and inside restrooms.”

In the auditorium, the stage curtain will be replaced to one on an automated system so the days of ropes and sandbags to draw the curtain will come to an end, O’Connell said. On both projects, the district worked with Akron-based architectural firm GPD Group — hired two years ago to begin planning the work that will be done — for guidance instead of just using a contractor, O’Connell said.

Board member Tom Hannon said although it has taken a while to get the projects, especially the security system, to the point of starting, the wait was worth it.

“I’m really pleased for the safety of our children that some of these things are being taken care of,” Hannon said.